Eurovision in Glasgow? Could Eurovision 2023 be held in Scotland as European Broadcasting Union confirm Ukraine will not host

The organiser of the Eurovision Song Contest has said it is in talks with the BBC to “potentially host” the 2023 event, after concluding next year’s contest cannot be held in Ukraine.

Many are speculating following reports that the event could be held in Glasgow – with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon even tweeting that her government would be willing to engage in discussions.

With much speculation around the event – here’s everything you need to know.

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Will Ukraine host Eurovision?

The Eurovision contest is traditionally held by the winner of the contest in the previous year – however, with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine Ukraine will not host the Eurovision Song Contest next year due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has announced.

The Ukrainian entry of Kalush Orchestra won the competition in Turin, Italy this year and it is traditional that the winning country hosts the event the following year.

However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said that following a “full assessment and feasibility study” it had concluded the “security and operational guarantees” required to host the event cannot be fulfilled by Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC.

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A screengrab from the Will Ferrell film that saw the Hydro host the Eurovision.

However, it said Eurovision remains “one of the most complex TV productions in the world”.

In a statement posted online, the EBU thanked the UA:PBC for its “wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios” but shared its “sadness and disappointment” that the contest cannot be held in the war-torn country.

“The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians,” it said.

“As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner-up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.

Undated handout photo issued by Eurovision 2022 of Kalush Orchestra, who have delivered an energetic performance of its song Stefania in the first semi-final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Issue date: Tuesday May 10, 2022.
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“It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”

What have the BBC said about hosting Eurovision?

The BBC has said they will “of course” discuss hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest following the announcement that Ukraine will not be able to host the event next year.

A statement from the broadcaster said: “We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want.

“Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”

Could Glasgow host the Eurovision Song Contest?

There has been no indication of which city would host the Eurovision Song Contest – however, traditionally the event is not held in capital cities of the host nation.

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There have been reports suggesting that Glasgow could host the tournament, however, many of these are inspired by The OVO Hydro hosting the fictional version of the contest in the Netflix Will Ferrell film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

Sources claim that the ceremony could be held in Glasgow if it is to take place in the UK, though organisers have refused to comment.

The Hydro has listings such as the Magic Mike arena tour on April 25, Andre Rieu on May 27 and Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tours from June 2-4, but currently nothing else in the month of May.

An SEC spokesperson said: “We are naturally disappointed that, as announced, Ukraine will not be able to host Eurovision 2023. If Glasgow is being considered as a potential host city for the event, we’d be delighted to take part in that conversation.”

Nicola Sturgeon also tweeted: We wish Eurovision could be in Ukraine but understand that in circumstances this isn’t possible.

However, I can think of a perfect venue on banks of the River Clyde!! @ScotGov is happy to discuss with BBC, @GlasgowCC @EBU_HQ and others”

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Downing Street welcomed the possibility of the UK hosting Eurovision if Ukraine cannot, pledging to ensure it would “overwhelmingly reflects Ukraine’s rich culture, heritage and creativity”.

A No 10 spokesman said: “Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision song contest was richly deserved and as the rightful winner the Government’s firm wish has been to see next year’s contest hosted there.

“If the EBU decides the competition can’t go ahead in Ukraine we would of course welcome the opportunity to work closely with Ukraine and the BBC to host it here in the UK.

“But we would be committed to ensuring it overwhelmingly reflects Ukraine’s rich culture, heritage and creativity, as well as building on the ongoing partnership between our two countries.”

Asked if the Government would help the BBC with the costs, the spokesman said “we’re slightly getting ahead of ourselves in terms of the process”.

How to get tickets for Eurovision?

Ticket details for Eurovision have not yet been revealed, however, the song contest official site often sells tickets.

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What happened at the last Eurovison?

The UK’s Sam Ryder topped the jury vote in Turin but Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra went on to win overall after a symbolic show of public support which saw them soar to first place with 631 points.

They had been the frontrunners since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February – which prompted organisers to ban the Russian entrant from competing.

Ukraine joined the international contest in 2003 and its three wins make it one of the most successful of the newer competitor countries – having also triumphed in 2004 and 2016.

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and San Marino had their results substituted by the EBU.

Some of those countries have since claimed that second place would have instead gone to Spain with SloMo performed by Chanel.

But after an investigation, the EBU stuck by its decision and confirmed Ryder as runner-up.